The Container Store is well-versed in maximizing space—especially where said space is limited. One example is dorm rooms. Each year, we provide college-bound students with practical solutions and inspiration through a variety of in-store events, product presentations, and model-room makeovers. So when PAVE (Planning and Visual Education) approached us about partnering for this year’s Student Design Competition, we were all in!
PAVE’s mission is to enable young talent to build successful careers in all aspects of the retail industry. This was The Container Store’s first year to participate in the competition and, alongside retailers such as Brooks Brothers and Nordstrom, we partnered with several design schools for the contest. “Retail is an awesome career choice that covers many facets of business—technology, distribution, marketing, accounting, store design, visual merchandising—but it is often overlooked,” says Brian Morrison, The Container Store’s Vice President of Visual Sales. “As in any business, it’s important to build the pipeline of talent, and retail needs to attract top talent coming out of college today to remain relevant and innovative.”
Our design school partner was Appalachian State University in Boone, North Carolina, and we presented them with a challenge: design a temporary 10’ x 10’ College Pop-Up Shop to showcase some of our favorite storage and organization necessities during college move-in weekends. We mentored fourteen student teams from the university that competed in the design project. Each team submitted fantastic designs that took into account The Container Store’s current branding strategy, signage, and products. In the end, it was the design by Grace McCormick and Jacob Still that truly amazed us!
“The products sold at the pop-up shop can help students designate ‘a place for everything’ to minimize clutter and create an environment that promotes success in their college career,” reads McCormick and Still’s design submission notes. “Through the implementation of a minimal, geometric design, the pop-up shop creates an inviting and systematic experience while catering to the minimalistic style of younger generations.”
“We were blown away by their design,” says Brian Morrison, citing its implementation of clean lines and natural materials. “Their design considered easy transportation and storage of the fixture, included a checkout station, and incorporated both product storage and lighting. It’s youthful and clever!” To best serve its target shopper, the pop-up shop includes a variety of our tried-and-true college organization products, including Tubular Hangers, Elfa Drawer Units, Desktop Accessories, Bulletin Boards, Stackable Storage Drawers, Laundry Hampers, and Bathroom Storage items.
The winning team’s design was fabricated by store fixture manufacturer Grand + Benedicts and put on exhibit at the 2019 GlobalShop, a renowned retail trade show in Chicago. McCormick and Still even got to attend the event and help assemble their creation! After the event, the fixture was also put on display in our flagship Dallas Northwest Highway store location so our customers could enjoy it as well.
Congratulations to the winners on their fabulous design!